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13 Reasons I’m Thankful this Thanksgiving!

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It’s that time of year again. The time where we all come together, with friends and family, to celebrate the things that we are most grateful for. Lately, I feel like there are so many wonderful, incredible things in my life that deserve to be noted, but because this is “13 reasons” and not “300 reasons”, I’ll try to limit it to the very best of the best!

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1. I finally have my camera charger back! Silly me, and this is going to sound really bad, but when I moved to college for this semester once again, I forgot a tiny little thing that I would need for my camera: the charger. So I had everything, from lenses, to carrying bags, to my DSLRs that I love so very much, and no charger. For either camera. But since I’m back home and spending this week having quality time with the fam, I was able to charge my camera! It’s been way too long, and I’m going to be pretty snap happy for these next couple of months.

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2. We always have the best, most delicious coffee at home. It’s one of the little things I miss when I’m away at school. I don’t even know what it is that makes it so much better. Perhaps the fact that it tastes a little stronger, even when it’s sweetened? It’s like crack. That must be the secret ingredient or something…

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3. I have time to blog again! With all the craziness of finals week arriving and the closure of my courses in combination with everything else, I have had absolutely no time to write, and I’ve missed it. I do it for you guys because I know you enjoy my work, but I especially enjoy it because in most cases, it feels quite therapeutic to me. Stay tuned for all the new posts coming soon! THEY’RE COMING.

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4. All the positive feedback I’ve received as of late. Even with me being busy and not having as much time lately to write for you guys everyday, you’ve still been so loving and supportive. I’ve barely lost any followers and subscribers, and it means a lot to me that you guys have stuck around!

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5. Sleeping in my own bed. It’s a pile of fluffy sheets and copious amounts of blankets that feel a lot like what heaven would feel like if it were a place to sleep. No bed compares to my bed at home, not to knock my bed in my apartment that highly resembles the hardness of blanketed concrete. But yeah.

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6. The weather is just gorgeous! I came from school, raining ferociously and wind blowing over bikes, to back home, sunny, breezy, and clear-sky-ed. It’s not even boiling hot. It’s a dream, really.

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7. After several months of being away from my family, nothing is more exciting than getting to spend time with them again. I’ve been here for only a couple of days so far and it’s been amazing. I look forward to countless more memories in this week alone, err….these next few days, the last few days…. before I have to head back to take my exams! *sigh*

The child within me weeps at the thought of leaving them and going back to my responsibilities. D*mn you, adulthood.

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8. This is the first time I’ve had an ounce of free time, and I’m clinging to them desperately. My major is definitely for the sleepless, but these breaks help me refocus. I’m keeping my eyes on the prize, even if they’re watery and red from tiredness.

I don’t have a ton of time, but I sure am a professional napper and cryer at this point.

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9. I have access to all my pretty clothes (and BEANIES!) that I didn’t get to bring when I moved away to college. It feels like I have brand new clothes every time I come home because there are so many pieces that I haven’t seen in a while. It gives me inspiration to try new outfits and rewear the clothes that I already have!

See that gif? Yeah, that’s me at college, staring in despair at my overflowing yet empty closet. NOTHING TO WEAR. NOTHING TO WEAR AT ALL.

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10. I can finally catch up on my latest guilty pleasure and the most successful procrastination technique I’ve discovered thus far within this semester: the Vampire Diaries series. It’s pretty dangerous when I have time to marathon on Netflix and when Netflix actually has to ask if I’m still there. Someone send help (Is there a life alert for Netflixers?!)!

Oh, and the answer to that question? College. Yep, yep. Feeling nothing. Team no sleep. Kinda numb. Coffee running through my veins. Sweatpants all day, everyday. It really does things to you…..

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11. I have time to work on building my audience. I’ve been slacking lately and I feel like my blog has come to somewhat of a stat-standstill, so it’ll be nice to dedicate some time to gaining exposure again. It takes a chunk of time and effort to create and manage a blog, and I don’t want to be that person that gives up when time gets tough! I, no, more like WE, will work through this. I have a good feeling.

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12. I’m learning to be much more independent and actually relishing in the independence. I think after a breakup, it’s best to learn how to focus on yourself and what you need to personally accomplish, and I feel like I’m doing that successfully lately. Sometimes I do need to turn my attention to myself and figure out what I want in order to prioritize my own dreams for the future.

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13. Everything feels like it’s falling into place. There are times in all of our lives when we feel fluctuation, when things get bad, get a little bit better, but then revert back to what we’ve been dreading. Lately, though, things are looking up. I feel like I’m cultivating a lot of positivity and I hope to maintain this positive outlook for the remainder of the year, and hopefully extend it beyond that. I can honestly say that I feel good, both physically and mentally. Things are looking up (knock on wood).

So now it’s your turn. Go ahead, tell me.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Comment below!

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An Honest List of Gym Faux Pas – “Your Makeup is Running As Fast As You Are (Actually, Probably Faster)”

 This post is all in good fun, so try not to get too butthurt if you realize that you’re a part of any of the following faux pas on this list. Just know that I was thinking about you!

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I’ve been going to the gym since I was a mere 11 year old (which realistically feels like an eternity and a half ago), and in the time that I’ve been going, I’ve almost always seen a chick or even several (sometimes they go to the gym in groups) with makeup just plastered on their faces. *sigh* I don’t like to judge people, but if you really want to get the most out of your workout, you need to prioritize the actual workout. It probably took you at least 10-15 minutes to get it all perfect, and for what? I’d like to say this headline is true but in all actuality, you’re probably just gonna walk on snail speed on the treadmill until someone stands there, tapping their foot, waiting for you to get off. In light of today’s gym experience, I would now like to present to you my personal list of gym faux pas. Let’s get weird.

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1. Making loud, grunting noises while you’re on a machine does not make you lift heavier, nor do they make you look like the big, strong man you want to be by the end of this week (because realistically, gym newcomers have this belief that after a week, they’ll look like something out of GQ). It’s like a howler monkey mating call. Who can project their “maleness” (and I say this with the least bit of seriousness) the loudest? Who can make all the other guys cower at their feet, pleading, yearning for their awesomeness to rub off upon them? Who can look like the roughest, toughest guy in the Salty Spitoon? (Brownie points will fall from the sky on the individual who gets that reference)

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2. The gym is not and will never be the next eHarmony (but if it were, WHICH IT TOTALLY ISN’T AND PLEASE DON’T MISTAKE THIS, but if it were, the headline would totally be something like, “Finding love so dumbbells aren’t the only weights lifted off your shoulders” or “Love Weights (get it, “waits“?!): lower your resistance and find your swolemate today”). Are you seriously gonna pick up the sweaty meathead sitting on the machine next to you? Think about all the dirty machines he’s handled in the past 30 minutes just on the weight floor and I promise you, you’ll want him sanitized (and I don’t say “sterilized” here, because obviously he’s the one true love of your life and you are destined for eternal devotion at first glimpse and even more so at the first exchange of actual words) first.

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3. You know the saying, “less is more”? That isn’t about clothing, and no, I’m not talking about when girls wear just sports bras. I don’t want to see your neon pink, Victoria’s Secret thong (See?! I already know too much!) through your “accidentally-transparent-“oops-I-didn’t-know-these-were-see-through-but-I’m-gonna-bend-over-in-front-of-your-face-so-you-can-get-a-good-look-whether-you-want-to-or-not”” tights, nor do I want to cringe at the thought of how much it must hurt to be running on the treadmill with your breasts spilling over your sports bra like a tsunami.

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4. You can be on that machine for 20 freakin’ years continually and see absolutely no results if you don’t add at least some resistance to the machine. I get it, I totally get it (I don’t get it). You don’t want to look stupid in front of your cute gym partner who’s already preoccupied himself with an intimidating new trainer, and you haven’t worked out in way too long because the new season of Doctor Who started recently and it’s consumed all of your time, and you don’t want to have a “manly body” with all those bulky muscles you’re going to build by doing only that one strong set on the machine. Blah, blah, blah. At that point, you’re just hogging the machine from someone who wants to feel like their muscles are legitimately on fire. FEEL THE BURN. FEEL IT.

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5. Fad exercises are as bad as 70s aerobics videos. Do you know how crazy you look when you’re prancercising around the gym vicinity? Or when you decide that the exercise ball would be a perfect spot to try that new headstand trick that everyone says burns a ton of calories (and brain cells)? Or when you start juggling the hand weights?

What have you seen at your local gym that you’d consider as something you’d “never be able to unsee”?

Share it below! 

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My Personal “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Warped Tour 2014! (WHO’S READY?!)

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It’s that time of year again when all of us concert-goers gather at one of the largest music tours across the United States: Warped Tour. This tour has been a personal favorite for me, as I have been going for many years, starting back when I was in middle school (which feels like an eternity ago). Last year, there were a decent number of instances where I found myself shaking my head at all the stuff that people end up bringing with them to the concert that really does not need to be there. So in light of that, I decided to make a list of personal “do”s and “don’t”s of Warped Tour for Warped Tour 2014!

Feel free to leave comments on your personal “do”s and “don’t”s!

DO

1. Do bring YOUR OWN water. Sometimes they take the caps off the water bottles you bring inside(so they aren’t chucked at the musicians, which I understand better now that I’ve gone there for a few years already), so if that’s the case, at least you still have the bottle to refill at the water station (a station they provide to concert go-ers to keep them hydrated). You’ll be happy you did. In Florida, at least, it is blistering hot and you’re going to be there for at least a couple of hours (I usually stay from opening time to closing), so it’s important to keep this in mind. Let’s be honest, too. You don’t want to pay $4 for a water bottle…That’s enough to buy a pack of ’em.

2. Do wear comfortable clothing (and maybe a bathing suit underneath). It feels pretty lucky when it drizzles at Warped Tour, but rain or shine, having a bathing suit gives the concert go-er the utmost comfort. One year, and I remember this clearly, the rain had poured so hard, and I remember having my clothes soaked through with rain and feeling uncomfortable for hours after. It was a total mess. In hindsight, I really should’ve checked the forecast and dressed accordingly.

3. Bring a camera. It’s always a good thing to be able to record your memories for later viewing. There’s so much that Warped Tour has to offer that it would be a true shame to not remember it in years to come. And who knows! You might run into a band member you’d kill to take a photo with, or win a VIP pass and really want to document the lucky moment (I won 2 meet-and-greets before and was lucky to have a charged and ready camera on hand!!). This one is essential!

4. Check out the band list and plan (at least a little bit) ahead of time so you can attend accordingly. There are going to be many different bands playing at the same time. You need to know which ones you have to see, which ones you’d like to see, and which ones you wouldn’t care if you missed. What I usually do is look on the http://vanswarpedtour.com website and make a list with categories to ensure that I don’t miss a show I NEED to see.

5. Go with someone with similar music interest (if you’re not going alone). You can get so caught up being in the group dynamic that you might end up going with the flow and missing some shows that you would love to see, but that your friends don’t care for. It’s easier going with someone with similar music taste for obvious reasons.

DON’T

1. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS OR NEW SHOES. I cannot stress this enough. People step on the back of your flip flop, it snaps apart, and then you have no shoes. Not having shoes at Warped Tour is a horrible risk, with glass and other rubble on the ground. Sneakers (VANS?) are the best option, but well-secured sandals can do too if you don’t mind strange tan lines on your feet (maybe get some fake tan in a bottle to prepare for the aftermath). Oh and new shoes will be obliterated. That’s self-explanatory.

2. DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. I see people getting trashed every year, which is fine, but please make sure that the driver of the car you’re going to be in is sober. You don’t want to lose your life that night out of negligence. Plus, if you’re the driver and you have to remain sober, it’ll still be fun for you too! You don’t need to get drunk to have a good time!

3. DO NOT WEAR LAYERS. It.will.be.so.hot. Light material (light colored shirts are even better) t-shirts or tank tops, bikinis (or swim trunks), and comfortable shorts are crucial. You’re going to have soaked-through clothing regardless, but it will be less uncomfortable if your clothes are breezy.

4. BE A MINIMALIST. DON’T PACK YOUR HOUSE. You only need a backpack, THE TICKETS, your wallet, sunscreen, some water (as noted above), and a place to put merch (if you’re planning on buying some while you’re there) and anything else you need to carry (maybe those broken flip flops?). Only bring the absolute essentials, because you’re going to be carrying everything ALL DAY. Having 20 pounds of bs on your back is going to be brutal as you’re walking from stage to stage.

5. SUNSCREEN MUST BE EVERYWHERE ON YOUR BODY AND REAPPLIED FREQUENTLY. You will burn like overcooked bacon if you don’t take care of your skin. I don’t care if you’re light, dark, somewhere in the middle. You NEED it. Don’t risk getting skin cancer over laziness. It’s easily preventable! Make sure it’s at least SPF 30, and don’t forget to not only put it on the common places you apply sunscreen, but also your chest and feet (as the skin is really thin and vulnerable in those places).

Have fun guys, and make sure you’re prepared to rock because this Warped Tour is going to be a day to remember! Be ready for what’s to come!

Do you have any tips or tricks for other Warped Tour fanatics?

COMMENT BELOW!

Long Nails, DON’T CARE? Think Again!

As I had bitten my nails down as far as they could go, I came to the conclusion that this crap needed to change. I had been wanting to grow my nails out for a very long time and had successfully done so a couple some weeks ago, but then final exams came around and made me return right back to my old coping ways: nail biting. It’s an excruciating habit. So the other day I purchased faux nails to attach to the ones that I already have in hopes of giving my real nails a break. I had first attempted doing that for prom during my senior year but managed to lose half of them by the middle of the night (needless to say it was a tremendously unsuccessful attempt). However, I was willing to give them another go for the sake of a long term goal of quitting for good. And behold, this time they stuck like they were Gorilla Glued. The difficulty now is getting used to these darn claws. Not even when I grew my nails out didn’t I have such long ones, and I’m beginning to realize the (unexpected) struggles that come with this fad.

1. Sleeping in a comfortable position. I’m so used to sleeping on my belly and side that I instinctually put my hands under the pillow beneath my head. But if I do that with these, I swear, I may even crack off one of my real nails in the process. Not to say that the glue doesn’t do its job, but after the work it was to match and secure these things perfectly, I’d hope that I wouldn’t lose them sleeping, of all things.

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2. My Candy Crush has officially been put on hold. Yes, it’s true. Yesterday, I wanted to forcefully chuck my phone at a wall and then physically break it into a million microscopic pieces with a sledgehammer, because every single time I would try to move a candy (or attempt to, more like), the game would try to move it somewhere else (NOT IN THE DIRECTION I SWIPED) or it would pretend that I clicked the one next to it. When I’d say black, it would say white. The same, impossible level with the added bonus of an uncooperative screen and talons that make the game no easier…So the crush is officially over.

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3. Applying makeup in the intention of it not looking like something out of a horror movie. Can you say streaks everywhere? I don’t think anyone has hoped that their everyday look may actually make their face look worse. I can only hope that all these makeup brushes that I’ve acquired over the years won’t fail me now! I’m depending on it.

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4. Guess I’m not putting my hair up anytime soon. Hair ties aren’t good friends of these faux nails. I’d be lucky to accomplish a messy bun with these bad boys, but hey, the only time I really put my hair up is when I have the intention of working out. I think I’ll survive that struggle. I guess I’ll be keeping the hair long and curly for a while, not that I mind!!

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5. No pants dance, it is. I mean think about it. We already don’t like putting our pants on, and now my nails give me a legitimate excuse not to. How am I ever supposed to button a pair of jeans with these, or even pull them on? Dresses and skirts are better suited for Summer, anyway! 😉

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What are the unexpected struggles that you endure with fake nails?

 

Hi, I’m the Author!: Mandirito’s “Likes” and “Dislikes”

I saw this really great idea on my friend, Vinny’s, WordPress blog and I thought it was an exceptional idea for those of you who follow my blog and would like to know me a little better! So here we go! The things that I “like” and “dislike”! These are just random lists, and are not in order of importance.

Likes (and Loves) :

Romantic Comedies (comedies in general!!) – singing – writing (you could’ve guessed that!) – dancing – Mexican food – promoting myself creatively – photography – equal rights – listening to music – honesty – drawing – Chinese food – painting – easy-going/happy/upbeat music – going to the gym (indoor cycling, treadmill, elliptical, weights, everything!) – utilizing social media effectively – cycling – running (on the occasion) – experimenting with cooking – hot showers – salads (when made right) – sweatpants – rainy days – creativity/creative people – beach-going – yoga – punctuality – cuddling –  laying in the hammock – exploring new places – movie nights – walking around with no pants – bringing my own popcorn to the movies – blazers – concerts (WARPED TOUR!!) – chick flicks – sewing (and altering my own clothes) – planning for the future, planning – coffee (WITH CREAMER) – blogging/vlogging – feminism – receiving flowers (carnations, sunflowers) – making other people feel loved – dresses – spontaneity – having my space sometimes – the Florida Keys – horror movies – boating – fishing (catch and release!) – the CTFxC – the DLV – eating with my fingers – making videos – dressing up nicely every day – heels on the occasion – red lipstick – We the Kings – hot sauce and spicy foods – chocolate – sheets just out of the dryer – creating – romantic gestures – positivity/optimism

Dislikes (and Hates) :

Narcissism – those who do not respect authority – rude kids – ungratefulness – having to make a good first impression – those who are not impressed easily – boredom – rats – messiness – feet – poor listening skills – styling my hair on my own – rap music – R&B music – going to the gym and waiting for machines – cynicism – waiting in line – selfishness – unwillingness to change poor traits – chewing with your mouth open – unnecessary stubbornness – peppers – going to the doctor/dentist – laziness – destructive criticism – lack of motivation – bread (usually) – lateness – homework (obviously) and examinations – cheating – reading textbooks – Greek food (from what I can tell) – raw carrots – textbook prices (HAVE YOU SEEN HOW RIDICULOUS THEY ARE?) – liars – long periods between show seasons (Come back, Pretty Little Liars! D:) – mushrooms antibiotics/medicine – walking in grass with heels – drugs – judgmental people – discouragement – users – shoes with no arch support – pork (usually) – clinginess – unwillingness to try new things – close-mindedness – the color orange (usually) – selfish friends, on and off friends – wasps – short shorts – manipulation – going to sleep after watching horror movies – sushi

10 Things You Should Try If You Haven’t Already

* I don’t take credit for the pictures *

1. Painting with your hands on canvas. Bring out that inner child. I swear, you won’t regret it. We secretly all love making a mess.

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2. The “Wreck this Journal” series. It broke me out of my composed ways of creating and challenged me in ways that I didn’t realize it could. It’s always been difficult for me to “destroy” things, and that’s the whole basis of the series!

Heres a tip: It’s best to do when angry. Or stressed out. Unleash your wrath upon those pages!

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3. Hot sauce. On everything. At least once. You’ll never go back. You’ll never be the same.

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4. Write a love letter than spills your guts forcefully. Let them know exactly how you feel and don’t leave out any of the mushy details.

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5. Attend an arts festival. They’re probably one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been, and the artists are always great to talk to. I’ve met some colorful characters out there.

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6. Devote yourself to a series of something and see where it takes you. Whether it be creating, reading, writing, tv series, whatever. Stick to it until the end.

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7. Volunteer for the sake of volunteering. Not for your resume, or to graduate high school. Do it for you, and do something that you care about.

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8. Make a youtube video showing something that means something significant to you. Tell a story, do a tutorial, document a moment in your life. Share with the world.

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9. Try something you’ve failed, all over again. Practice makes perfect.

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10. Approach a stranger and give a genuine compliment. Think specific and heartfelt.

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Thought List of April 16, 2014

1. Is that coffee in the fridge still good? Or did I seriously just waste the last bit of creamer in my fridge, upping the potential of a final’s week meltdown?

2. One step outside this morning, and I felt like my toes were going to fall off. It’s best if I don’t lose my toes before finals week.

3. It’s weird having a schedule where I’m basically finished by 12:00 PM, because then everyone’s still in class, and I’m just straight chillin’, waiting for someone else to say that their class got canceled.

4. Where did all my napkins disappear to, anyway? Seriously, I know you’re a mess, but chill with that.

5. I think the name “teriyaki” should be changed to “teriyummy”. Let’s be honest. The name is misleading.

6. If I rolled off of my bed right now, I’m pretty sure I could break something. I think I should put “mountain climber” on my resume because of this. Climbing this bed is an adventure.

7. One of my toes refuses to be a team player.

8. I think all the COM majors in this class are perfect for their major, because they NEVER STOP TALKING.

9. Bikes are probably the best and the worst thing to ever happen to college campuses.

10. I’m playing with the idea of turning a blip of my writing into a novel.